Last Saturday was the first of our Autumnal ODGAWS or one-day-get-a-ways. My friends and I once again, met at Grand Central Station, loaded up on coffee and scones and boarded a Connecticut train for South Norwalk or SoNo as it is known in the local vernacular. Our destination on this trip was Sheffield Island and the quaint 146 year old Sheffield Light House.
Once in SoNo we walked to the ferry landing in the heart of the South Norwalk Historic District, on Water Street. Here we were greeted by Captain John as we boarded the CJ Toth a 45′ passenger ferry. As we settled in we were introduced to the First Mate Danny, a friendly and knowledgeable man who regaled us with the history of Norwalk Harbor as well as pointing out the present points of interest.
We had an ideal day for an “island cruise”:clear blue skies and delightfully warm temperatures. When we reached the island we were welcomed by Mark, the Light House Keeper who gave us a briefing on the dos and don’ts while on the island. After that we were free to spend the next few hours to explore the island, take a tour of the light house, picnic on the lawns or comb the beaches for shells.
As soon as my feet hit the sand I was off to spend my time on this peaceful little island taking numerous photos of anything and everything that caught my eye. My good and patient friends headed for the picnic tent and then did their own thing until it was time for us to meet back at the dock.
As I mentioned this island is the definition of peace and quiet and since we were a small group (only 31 of us) we had plenty of space to spread out. I walked towards an abandoned house, that was private property and one of the “don’ts” Mark told us about so, I had to admire and photograph it from afar. I tramped through a weeded area to get the best angles and found myself in a patch of Datura Stramonium a.k.a Loco Weed. The large spiked pods had burst open displaying their raisin colored seeds for me to photograph.
When done with the abandoned house and weeds I turned my attention toward the light house. Constructed in 1868 and made of pink limestone, its high white tower housed a Fresnel lens, which carried the light far out to sea warning vessels to keep their distance from the rocks and shoals. Stepping inside I found myself in a cozy little 19th century parlor complete with a white Victorian birdcage by the window, a spacious kitchen with a wood burning stove, and a welcoming dinning room. I walked up a narrow winding staircase to the family bedrooms but unfortunately, the staircase to the light tower was closed off. From every window in the house there was a gorgeous view of the Long Island Sound.
The sickle curved shore line was rimmed by thousands of bleached white snail shells and fine green sea grass that gently swayed and waved with each ripple of the water. The walking paths too were paved with these shells and I followed one through the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge listening to the hum of insects and making a wish before blowing on the white fluffy seed pods of the Sow Thistle, scattering the pods and my wish to the wind. I hope my wish comes true. :)
When we disembarked at Water Street we took ourselves to lunch at the South Norwalk Seafood restaurant and then took a leisurely walk through town back towards the train station. It was late afternoon and as we waited for the train home, I busied myself photographing the rust red electric power lines that cut across the deep blue sky.